The Classic Pay-Per-View Review: Vengeance 2011

ringcollapseCollapsed ring after gigantic superplex – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Thanks a lot for checking out this edition of The Classic Pay-Per-View Review. The object of this feature is to take an in-depth look at a show from the past. They will usually be WWE shows, but can be from other promotions. They may be very old, or they may only be a few years old. I tend to find random shows that I don’t remember and watch them when I go to bed. If they really entertain me, I’ll write about them on here. They won’t all be considered classics, and they won’t all be that old school, but they all have some value in my eyes. This time I’m going to talk about WWE Vengeance 2011. I hope you enjoy the review.

Air Boom(c) v Dolph Ziggler & Jack Swagger (for the WWE Tag Team Championship) This was a pretty good match, which is what you would expect from the calibre of the athletes in the ring. It featured a lot of good work and some top athleticism. Ziggler jobbed after the Trouble in Paradise and Shooting Star Press. Bourne and Kofi retained the titles. Boy, how things have changed

Dolph Ziggler(c) v Zack Ryder (for the United States Championship) This was quite an interesting idea with Ziggler competed in back to back matches. Both guys did a great job here, considering Ziggles had just jobbed out only seconds before. This was quite a balanced match and Ryder got a lot of good offense away. He obviously had to call a lot of the match, because of Dolph’s exhaustion. Ziggler got the win with the Superkick after Swagger distracted Ryder. A solid second match.

Beth Phoenix(c) v Eve Torres (for the Divas Championship) This was a surprisingly excellent Divas match, with some great athleticism and a few cool high spots. A particular highlight was Eve’s moonsault. The two of them did some really good submission work too and told a great story. Beth incessantly chanting “Cry Eve, just cry!” was a nice touch. She picked up the win to make it three successive titles retained in a row with the impressive Glam Slam. Not a night for title changes it seems. This was a very good match, almost on the level of AJ and Kaitlyn’s effort at Payback. I think the reinvigoration of the division in modern WWE would be helped by a return of these two, and most of all a return of the wonderful Kharma.

Christian v Sheamus This match was a reminder of the consistency that Christian will bring back to WWE after his return to regular competition on Raw this week. For a veteran, the guy can really move. In this match, he hit some incredible springboards, missile dropkicks and a diving headbutt. Both of these guys showed tremendous athleticism throughout. Also, I think we need Booker T back on commentary, the guy is a legend! He calls everything technical from the perspective of someone who has been in the ring, and not a hundred years ago. Sometimes he is just plain hilarious. Sheamus gets the win with the Brogue Kick after a thoroughly entertaining period of reversals and exchanges.

Then we caught up with Johnny Ace backstage speaking to The Miz and R-Truth. It was pretty epic and hilarious to see them rip on Triple H, CM Punk and the entire state of Texas. I always tend to remember the bad about Awesome Truth, but there were a lot of cool moments and matches from these two. I also kinda miss Big Johnny at times! It’s good to reminisce about the not so distant past. It’s still fresh in my memory but feels like a revelation.

Triple H & CM Punk v Awesome Truth There was an absolutely epic vignette before the match showing all of the drama that was going on at that time. The theme was chaos and it brought it all flooding back to me. The appointment of Laurinitis, the return of Kevin Nash, all of the brawling and crazy attacks with Miz and Truth. This really made this match seem more important than it in fact was. Awesome Truth made their amazing entrance with ‘The Remix’ – “Conspiracies made me change it up. You suck!” I miss this so much!

There was some good fluid tag team work in the early going, with a lot of quick tags from Punk and Hunter. Ironically, Triple H slapped the figure four on The Miz. It was weird and awesome to see that. Punk kept pulling his hands to apply leverage behind the referees back. It was refreshing to see heels being worked by faces like that. King was crying out “I love this” – oh the double standards! Lots of good ring psychology. Punk hit the classic Savage elbow on The Miz, after Triple H had laid out Truth over the barricade outside.

Then Nash came and took out Triple H, allowing Truth to rejoin the action in the ring. Truth saved Miz from the GTS and the two of them hit their tag move Little Jimmy’s Finale – I don’t recall that hilarious name. Nash then gave Hunter the Jackknife Powerbomb in the centre of the ring. He seemed to botch it and legitimately injure The Game, the big moron. This was a good match though and it told a great story.

Randy Orton v Cody Rhodes Every time these two guys get together in the ring, it seems to be amazing. This is honestly one of my favourite pairings for a singles match, probably of all time. I think they have excellent chemistry. That old school Intercontinental Championship looks great on Cody. He was at his peak in this match. The awesome mask, the cool super hero hoody. The guy had such a great character at this time. Midway through the match, Rhodes slapped a Boston Crab on Orton which was sold well by both guys.

codyortonTerrific moonsault from Cody Rhodes – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Rhodes connected with a great Alabama Slam, but followed it up by missing a spectacular moonsault. He got some amazing hangtime. What a great young athlete Rhodes is. When will he get the World Title he deserves? Orton was working impeccably as always, with his textbook standing dropkick. Cody responded with a springboard disaster kick. He then hit another moonsault. This time he connected on a standing Orton taking him off his feet. Cody then hit crossroads on Orton after a distraction from one of his baggers. Of course they couldn’t let him get the rub though, and The Viper kicked out at two. Cody mocked Orton with the trademark floorpunch, only to have him turn around and catch him with a dropkick. Orton then picked up the win with the RKO. Great, great match!

Mark Henry(c) v Big Show (for the World Heavyweight Championship) This match was never gonna be a classic but they did a good job building it up as a credible storyline with the vignette. The two of them worked false finishes and power moves well to create as much tension and excitement as they could, given their limited mobility. Then a couple of crazy spots made this match memorable. First, Big Show chokeslammed Mark Henry off the top rope. Then Henry delivered a vertical suplex on the giant from the top rope. The impact made the ring implode. The last time I remember this happening was back in 2003 again involving Big Show, but this time the top rope suplex was from Brock Lesnar. The match was called off. What a great visual!

Alberto Del Rio(c) v John Cena (Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship) The first time in history (apparently) that the show went on despite an imploded ring. It was fun seeing them hit power moves and waiting for the mat to completely collapse each time. It must have been weird for them with not being able to use the ropes and all. Cena’s 5 knuckle shuffle without the ropes was particularly funny. It was a decent match, but they could have used the whole rope situation more I thought.

Del Rio got him down with the sleeper, but Cena obviously made it up before the ten. He then reversed an irish whip to send Del Rio flying over the floored ropes of the broken ring all the way into the barricade on the outside. That looked painful! The match then descended into a backstage brawl. Del Rio just rolled out of the way in time to avoid Cena pushing a huge storage unit on top of him. This was an extremely risky spot. Del Rio then buried Cena under a pile of huge metal pallets, which was ingenious in my opinion. Sadly he got out before the ten.

delriotitleDel Rio strikes Cena with the title belt – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

They came back out into the arena and Del Rio got Cena laid out on a table, and began climbing the railings. Cena nipped up and pulled him off, sending him crashing through the table. Well, that backfired! Then they brawled back towards the ring and around to the announce table. Cena then put him through the announce table with the AA off of a stack of steel stairs. Then Miz and Truth came, laid out Cena, and left. Del Rio got up at 4, and Super Cena got up just before the ten count. They did use a lot of close calls to make this match exciting, to be fair. Del Rio then struck him with the title belt and he finally stayed down. That makes it zero title changes from five title matches.

This was a solid pay-per-view indeed, especially given what looked like a weak card. It was disappointing to see not even one title change hands, but that’s not the end of the world. It featured some very memorable spots and scenarios. There wasn’t too much great wrestling but I would say every match was solid for what it was. Orton and Rhodes brought the best in the ring. I’d give it a thumbs up. It was a very decent random show to watch. You won’t remember the outcomes to all the matches before you watch it, and you may be surprised by the quality.


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